Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings – Game #65 Preview & Projected Lines

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 25: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his first period goal with teammate Zach Hyman #11 in the view of goaltender Petr Mrazek #34 of the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on January 25, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs (28-21-14, 16th in NHL) vs. Detroit Red Wings (25-27-11, 28th in NHL)

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST
Arena: Air Canada Centre
Watch: TSN4

Matchup Stats

Statistics courtesy of

Record %0.4840.547
Home Winning %0.4310.581
Away Winning %0.4070.5
Shootout Winning %10.111
Goal Differential Per Game-0.570.13
Shot Differential Per Game-2.40.06
Hits Per Game19.524.5
PIM Per Game99.9
Opponent PIM Per Game9.510.2
Goals Per Game2.43.02
Even Strength Goals Per Game1.952.25
Power Play Goals Per Game0.410.69
Shots Per Game28.332.8
Shots Per Goal11.810.9
Team Shooting %0.0850.092
Power Play %0.1290.229
Goals Against Per Game2.972.89
ES Goals Against Per Game2.32.3
PP Goals Against Per Game0.560.53
Shots Against Per Game30.732.69
Shots Against Per Goal10.3411.31
Opp. Team Shooting %0.0970.088
Penalty Kill %0.8130.833
Save %0.9030.912
Goals Against Average2.912.84
Opponent Save %0.9150.908
Opponent Goals Against Average2.352.97
Opponent Shutouts82

Who’s Hot

  • William Nylander: three assists in last four games
  • Tyler Bozak: three points (one goal, two assists) in last four games
  • Henrik Zetterberg: 10 points (one goal, nine assists) during six-game points streak
  • Justin Abdelkader: four points (one goal, three assists) during three-game points streak

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines


Leo Komarov – Nazem Kadri – William Nylander
Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin – Brian Boyle – Nikita Soshnikov


Morgan Rielly – Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner – Alexey Marchenko
Matt Hunwick – Roman Polak


Starter: Frederik Andersen (Confirmed)
Backup: Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Ben Smith, Martin Marincin, Josh Leivo, Eric Fehr
Injured: Connor Carrick (upper body)

Detroit Red Wings Projected Lines


Gustav Nyquist – Henrik Zetterberg – Tomas Tatar
Andreas Athanasiou – Frans Nielsen – Anthony Mantha
Justin Abdelkader – Darren Helm – Dylan Larkin
Drew Miller – Riley Sheahan – Luke Glendening


Danny DeKeyser – Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall – Nick Jensen
Xavier Ouellet – Robbie Russo


Starter: Petr Mrazek (Confirmed)
Backup: Jared Coreau

Scratched: Mitch Callahan
Injured: Ryan Sproul (left knee), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Jimmy Howard (knee)

Morning Skate: Mike Babcock

Do people understand how hard it is in today’s NHL to make the playoffs 25 straight years?

Mike Babcock: Well, no one understands because they’re not living it every day. Just think about what they’ve been able to do. What happens is, right away, you want to go from that to a bunch of young kids and going again. It doesn’t happen like that. That’s the problem. Ken Holland and Mr. Illitch and those people have done an unbelievable job over a long period of time of making out the resources they had. I think I went there in ’05. At that time, they were supposed to be going into the tank. And then the next ten years they proceeded to make the playoffs every year and they were the only team, if I’m not mistaken, to do that. Since that lockout, that’s what they’ve been able to do. But there are points in time that it catches up to you.

What have you taken personally from that organization? Any examples?

Babcock: Way too many to talk about here. You know, it’s part of who you are, obviously. I can remember individual conversations with Shanahan and Lidstrom and Draper over the years that just made you think about things differently. Steve Yzerman, I got to work with for a number of different events. Dominik Hasek, the way he approached the game. Chris Chelios, in his way of going about his business. There are so many great players that taught you so many different things. Now it comes to mind that maybe the thing that I learned the most there: When I arrived, I thought you had to be ready for the game at nine in the morning. I didn’t know if you were ready for the game and wore yourself all day, you had no energy at night. What I learned from the best players was — they could be watching their son play on TV three minutes before the drop of the puck, and be ready to go when the puck was dropped. How’s that?

That’s transferable?

Babcock: I think it is. I think when you’re a kid it’s a little bit different. But when you’re a man, I think it’s different.

Morgan Rielly was talking about wanting to be better defensively…

Babcock: I think the biggest thing is he’s like a lot of us. When you’ve got a real swagger about your game and you’re playing real fast and things are going real good, you don’t think about anything. You’re just doing what you do. I think he’s probably got himself thinking a little bit. Just steady on the rudder here. Do what you do. Understand the detail and the structure protects the individual. Do all of those things and get prepared, but let’s be loose and driving at game time and have some fun.

Have you seen guys tighten up a little bit as these games get tighter?

Babcock: I don’t think we’ve been as good lately. Why is that? I think you’ve got to give credit to other teams, too. We’re playing against real teams that are playing against us for real points. So I think that’s part of it. But I also think, when it goes not as good for you, especially when you don’t have the kind of experience… I guarantee you all of those guys who played a 20 years and scored a tonne of goals went through 20-game stretches all the time wondering if they’re going to score again. Happens over and over again. Steady on the rudder, keep grinding, do good things and good things happen.

What are some of the key things you’re hoping your team learns down the stretch?

Babcock: You’re talking about down the stretch and you’re talking about as we go ahead. We’ve got 18 games to play our way in, but we’ve got a game today. And really, to be honest with you, that’s all that really matters. Let’s get prepared. We’re going to have a nice meal here in a second. We’ll go home and have a nice nap. We’ll come back. We know who we’re playing. We’re going to be prepared. Now let’s go out and play.

Are you going to use the same lineup as the Anaheim game?

Babcock: Yes, I think so.

When it comes to closing games right now, what are your young guys learning or what are you trying to teach them about what it takes to close games?

Babcock: I think when you start the game you don’t know what shift is going to turn the game. Is that the first shift? I was watching TV last night and a couple of teams were down 2-0 right away. So you spent your whole day — had a nice meal, had a nice nap, did everything — and how did you get down 2-0 five minutes into the game and you chase the game all night? You don’t know what shift it’s going to be. Is it going to be the last one with 1:20 left where they shoot it in your net and cost you the game? Is it going to be the first shift of a second or third period because you took a period at the end because you didn’t get off the ice on time and boom it’s in your net? You don’t know what shift is going to turn the game, so be ready for your shift. Play one, take a deep breath, [have] a little drink of water, and get ready for the next one.

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